Thompson residents will soon have two locations in their small town to purchase postal stamps and drop off their mail.
The first Village Post Office in Central Missouri and the Gateway District of the U.S. Postal Service opens Friday in the Dawson's Country Store – located in the cove of the curve, 17525 Hwy. 22, between Mexico and Centralia.
Cindy Bolles, manager of Post Office Operations for the Postal Service and Gary Dawson, owner of Dawson's Country Store, will open the new postal center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited.
Last year, the Postal Service introduced the Village Post Office (VPO) model as an alternate real location for postal products and services where the community has no existing post office, or will be losing its post office.
VPOs are operated by local businesses contracting with the Postal Service, and offer a range of popular postal products and services including stamps and flat-rate packaging.
The Thompson VPO is the second VPO to open in the state of Missouri.
Thompson's post office was one of many in Central Missouri that had its hours reduced by the United States Postal Service as a cost-savings tactic. According to Dawson, residents in Thompson didn't want to lose their service hours.
Dawson said more than a dozen local residents met with postal officials in October, voicing their concerns, and subsequently agreed on the VPO as an alternative.
"I can't weigh or put stamps on mail, but I will be able to sell stamps and take in mail and flat-rate boxes," Dawson said. His service is set up to provide more convenience for the Thompson populace and general public.
Dawson's store is well known as a go-to for U-haul rentals, gasoline, groceries, tackle, bait, hunting related items and more.
The U.S. Post Office in Thompson will continue to operate Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30-10:30 a.m.
The Thompson VPO will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.